The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, December 26
US receives defense budget

Georgian side expressed its appreciation upon mentioning Georgia's assistance in the newly adopt of defense budget of the USA.

* * *

Yesterday on December 25 Georgia celebrated 39th anniversary since intronization of Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II .

Police officer commits suicide

A police officer has allegedly committed suicide in the town of Borjomi. According to reports, the 35-year-old man had worked as a police officer for a number of years.

According to unconfirmed reports, he hanged himself.

As locals say, in 2013 he was fired, but later he was reinstated.

Reports say the suicide of the 35-year-old police officer was related to his debts.

According to neighbors, the police officer loved to gamble, though they refrained from elaborating on details.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into the case.

EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee Meeting in Tbilisi

The Association Agreement does not constitute “the final goal” in the EU-Georgia relations, and Tbilisi “may apply to become a member of the Union,” according to the joint statement released by the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee.

The third session of the committee, which is designed as a political body to provide scrutiny of implementation of the Association Agreement, was held in Tbilisi on December 19-20. The session was co-chaired by Tamar Khulordava, chairperson of the parliamentary committee for European integration, and Sajjad Karim, an MEP from the UK.

“Recalling that the Association Agreement entered into force on July 1 2076, the Co-Chairs reiterated that the Agreement does not constitute a final goal in EU-Georgia relations and pointed out that pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union, Georgia may apply to become a member of the Union provided that it respects human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights’ including the rights of persons belonging to minorities,” the joint statement reads.

The co-chairs acknowledged the “effective implementation” of the Association Agreement and welcomed holding of the third EU-Georgia Association Council meeting.

MP Tamar Khulordava of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia noted at a joint news briefing that the Association Agreement “is not the peak of our ambitions and the last stop,” where Georgia wants to get in terms of EU integration. “We have far reaching plans,” she added.

The co-chairs also welcomed “the progress” achieved in December in terms of Georgia’s visa liberalisation. The head of the European Parliament’s delegation welcomed the decision made on December 20 on behalf of the EU Council and expressed hope that this process, which has now moved to the European Parliament, will end with voting in early 2017.

“I hope that we will finally arrive at the point that demonstrates itself to be absolutely momentous in terms of EU-Georgian relations. We value the fact that Georgia has long given a commitment to its declared European future and we will continue to invest in that,” Sajjad Karim said on December 20.

The co-chairs took note of “intensified anti-Western propaganda” in Georgia and the EU, and underlined the importance of joint efforts in countering anti-Western propaganda.

Regarding the future orientations of the PAC proceedings, the Co-Chairs agreed that it ought to focus on the Association Agenda for 2017-2020.

A wide range of issues where parliamentarians, together, would examine further progress in AA/DCFTA implementation should include, inter alia: strengthening the stability, independence and effectiveness of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights; continuing reforms in the criminal justice system; reinforcing the independence and professionalism of media; taking effective steps for transforming the labor inspection into a fully-fledged effective mechanism; taking steps to increase balanced gender representation in all branches of government.

The sides also agreed to hold the next session of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee, which gathers biannually, in Strasbourg on February 15-16.

During the two-day visit, the European Parliament’s delegation will meet with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Parliamentary Chairman IrakliKobakhidze and Foreign Minister MikheilJanelidze.

Grant agreements worth 22.5 million dollars signed with US

Grant agreements worth 22.5 million dollars have been signed with the U.S.,InterpressNews was informed by the Ministry of Finance.

According to the agency, First Vice-Premier and Minister of Finance Dimitri Kumsishvili and US Agency for International Development Mission Director Douglas Ball signed three grant agreements.

Changeswere made to the previously signed agreements and the amount of the grant was increased to 22.5 million US dollars.

"The agreements cover priority areas, such as inclusive and sustainable economic growth; democratic control and balance of accountable governance; increasingly stable, integrated and healthy society. The activities planned within the agreements will be aimed at introducing business standards and increasing competitiveness in various sectors, as well as effective managing of natural resources and creating market-oriented jobs, increasing integration of persons with disabilities and internally displaced persons," says the agency.